Barbie Culture


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Barbie Culture

  1. 1. Life in plastic… life is fantastic ;P
  2. 3. <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>American icon </li></ul><ul><li>girls' dreams </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection of changes </li></ul>
  3. 4. Diversity <ul><li>Clothing </li></ul><ul><li>Accessories </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines </li></ul><ul><li>Video games </li></ul><ul><li>Haute couture </li></ul>
  4. 5. Background <ul><li>Original Creator’s idea </li></ul><ul><li>History and Evolution </li></ul>
  5. 6. Barbie’s ‘Mom’- Ruth Handler <ul><li>Creator of Barbie </li></ul><ul><li>Founded Mattel </li></ul><ul><li>with Elliot Handler in 1959 </li></ul>
  6. 7. Origins of Barbie <ul><li>Speculation </li></ul><ul><li>Barbara plays with adult dolls </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>A trip to Europe, meet up with “Lili” </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Executive power and influence </li></ul>
  7. 8. Barbie friends, mates & family <ul><li>Ken, Midge, Skipper, Stacie and more… </li></ul>1959-1965 THE EARLY YEARS BARBIE 1959-present KEN 1961-present, Barbie’s boyfriend MIDGE 1963-66, Barbie’s friend ALLAN 1964-65, Ken’s friend SKIPPER 1964-present, Barbie’s sister SKOOTER 1965-66, Skipper’s friend RICKY 1965, Skipper’s friend   1965-1970 THE MOD ERA TUTTI 1966-69, Barbie’s baby sister, TODD 1966-67, Barbie’s baby brother FRANCIE 1966-76, Barbie’s modern cousin CASEY 1967 & 1974 Francie’s friend CHRISTIE 1968-present, Barbie’s friend STACEY 1968-70, Barbie’s friend … 1971-1976 THE MALIBU ERA FLUFF 1971, Skipper’s friend TIFF 1972, Skipper’s friend THE 1980’S SUPERSTAR, DISCO, ROCK ERA SCOTT 1980, Skipper’s friend DEREK 1986-87 Ken’s friend DIVA 1986-87 Barbie’s friend MIDGE 1988-present, Barbie’s friend NIKKI 1989, Barbie’s friend… THE 90’S NEW FAMILY LITTLE KIDS STACIE 1992-present, Barbie’s new sister TODD 1991, 1993-1994, Barbie’s new brother, twin to Stacie KELLY 1995, Barbie’s new baby sister JANET 1994, Stacie’s friend… … THE 90’S FRIENDS ADULTS KIRA 1990, Barbie’s friend NIA 1990, Barbie’s friend KEVIN 1990-95, Skipper’s friend ALAN 1991, Ken’s friend..  
  8. 9. Advertisements: Old & New <ul><li>Original Ad </li></ul><ul><li>Barbie you’re beautiful </li></ul><ul><li>You make me feel </li></ul><ul><li>My Barbie doll is really real </li></ul><ul><li>Barbie smiling so petite </li></ul><ul><li>The clothes and figure look so neat </li></ul><ul><li>Her dancing outfit rings a bell </li></ul><ul><li>And howdy(??) she will cast a spell </li></ul><ul><li>Purse and hats and gloves galore </li></ul><ul><li>And all the gadgets gal(??) the doll </li></ul><ul><li>Someday I’m gonna be exactly like you </li></ul><ul><li>Till then I know just what I’ll do. </li></ul><ul><li>Barbie, beautiful Barbie </li></ul><ul><li>I’ll make believe that </li></ul><ul><li>I am you. </li></ul>Youtube link>> Current Ad – B who you wanna B Be who you wanna be B .A. R. B. I. E. hey girl Be a fashionista styling Barbie girl Be a dream yeah Barbie girl Be a lovely Barbie girl you can be who you wanna be B .A. R. B. I. E girl be who you wanna be Barbie girl… homepage>> clip>>
  9. 10. Barbie Merchandises <ul><li>Charm bracelets, electronic diaries, DVDs, 3D games and other accessories </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising to parents, collectors </li></ul><ul><li>‘ ’ </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Marketing to kids </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving themes, according to current trends </li></ul><ul><li>Fantasy theme AD >> </li></ul>
  11. 12. Marketing to teens “hottest new trends” “hot looks” <ul><li>Targeting fashion conscious young girls with </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrity Icon: Hilary Duff </li></ul><ul><li>Personifies Barbie as teenage fashion model </li></ul><ul><li>Today, we see continuation of the ‘Fashion Queen’s image </li></ul>
  12. 13. Marketing Fashionable Barbie with a new spin More interactivity: Fashion, Music, Video, eDiaries and DVDs Varied styles appealing to different girls. Eg. ‘Rock gal chic’ style
  13. 14. Make-over craze- ‘Fashion Fever’
  14. 15. Social Impacts <ul><li>Norms, values, ideologies </li></ul><ul><li>Counter Culture </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>“ Parents thank us for the educational values in the world of Barbie…They say that they could never get their daughters well groomed before – get them out of slacks or blue jeans and into a dress…get them to scrub their necks and wash their hair. Well, that’s where Barbie comes in. The doll has clean hair and a clean face, and she dresses fashionably, and she wears gloves and shoes that match.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Ruth Handler, 1964 </li></ul>That Good Ole’ Fashioned Barbie
  16. 17. The Barbie Doll look <ul><li>Anglo beauty norms </li></ul><ul><li>and body image </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural variations reflected in skin tones and clothes </li></ul><ul><li>Restricted ideals of </li></ul><ul><li>feminine beauty </li></ul>
  17. 18. The Politics of Barbie <ul><li>Post WWII: suburbia and rigid gender roles as typifying the American Dream – symbols of democracy and freedom in the Cold War era. </li></ul><ul><li>The seven golden years: Barbie’s heterosexual teenage lifestyle </li></ul><ul><li>Late capitalist era: Pairing of consumption with successful femininity; the attractiveness of Barbie packaging </li></ul>
  18. 19. Barbie and the Pervasiveness of Culture
  19. 20. What does the form of a Barbie tell you?
  20. 21. ‘ Barbie Syndrome’ <ul><li>“ desire to have a </li></ul><ul><li>physical appearance and lifestyle of the </li></ul><ul><li>famous Barbie doll..” -Wikipedia </li></ul>
  21. 22. Pre-Operations Ms Jackson: “ I wanted Barbie’s life, I wanted to be an astronaut or a doctor, not a farmer’s wife.” She has undergone 9 operations and spent US$55,000 to look like her idol Barbie Ms. Cindy Jackson and former Mr. Tim Whitfield-Lynn now Mr. Miles Kendall
  22. 23. Post Operations Closer to becoming their idols' image
  23. 24. Steve Erhardt: Self-proclaimed Ken Doll
  24. 25. Anti-Barbie Clubs <ul><li>Children regarding torturing Barbie as a ‘cool’ activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Mutilation of the doll in various ways e.g.: Decapitation, burning, breaking, microwaving. </li></ul><ul><li>Often regarded as a rite of passage for some girls. </li></ul><ul><li>Against the idea of girls being pushed into the adult world. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Source:
  26. 27. Barbie Collectivism Culture
  27. 28. Constructions of Meanings & Consumption <ul><li>Meanings of collecting and meanings of the objects collected are distinct from one another and differ from individual to individual. </li></ul><ul><li>Prospect of making new friends, a vacation from the demands of everyday life; </li></ul><ul><li>day trip to an auction or sale. </li></ul><ul><li>A form of consumption. </li></ul><ul><li>Extends and expresses one’s selfhood </li></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>Investors vs ‘True’ collectors </li></ul><ul><li>Gives one pleasure in viewing her… </li></ul>
  29. 30. Barbie’s impact on media <ul><li>Modern Barbie twist to traditional stories </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently differing completely from the original story </li></ul>
  30. 31. Values & Ideologies <ul><li>Customised to fit Barbie’s ideals and values. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g In the Twelve Dancing Princesses </li></ul><ul><li>Wholesome messages such as morality and the power of family are emphasized </li></ul>
  31. 32. <ul><li>Barbie Doll – Marge Piercy </li></ul><ul><li>This girlchild was born as usual </li></ul><ul><li>And presented dolls that did pee-pee </li></ul><ul><li>and miniature GE stoves and irons </li></ul><ul><li>and wee lipsticks the colour of cherry candy. </li></ul><ul><li>Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: </li></ul><ul><li>You have a great big nose and fat legs. </li></ul><ul><li>She was healthy, tested intelligent, </li></ul><ul><li>Possessed strong arms and back, </li></ul><ul><li>Abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity. </li></ul><ul><li>She went to and fro apologizing, </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs. </li></ul><ul><li>She was advised to play coy, </li></ul><ul><li>Exhorted to come on hearty, </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise, diet, smile and wheedle. </li></ul><ul><li>Her good nature wore out </li></ul><ul><li>Like a fan belt, </li></ul><ul><li>So she cut off her nose and legs </li></ul><ul><li>And offered them up. </li></ul><ul><li>In the casket displayed on satin she lay </li></ul><ul><li>With the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on, a turned-up putty nose, </li></ul><ul><li>Dressed in a pink and white nightie. </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t she look pretty? Everyone said. </li></ul><ul><li>Consummation at last. </li></ul><ul><li>To every woman a happy ending. </li></ul>
  32. 33. Afterthoughts… <ul><li>Paris Hilton – a living Barbie? </li></ul>‘ Barbie’ Paris (*montage with the controversial Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’ song) Youtube video1 | Link 2 <ul><li>Blonde, Pink + fashion icon = ‘Barbie’ </li></ul><ul><li>Gender stereotyping? </li></ul><< newsflash >> “ PARIS HILTON caused disruption and upset in the doll world on Saturday night (05FEB05), when she played a home-wrecking BARBIE on an American comedy show. The hotel heiress stepped out as a 'Fashion Fever' version of the plastic favourite on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, where she left show regular AMY POEHLER's vintage Barbie character distraught, after sleeping with her boyfriend KEN, played by WILL FORTE.